By the end of this guide, you’ll know where you belong in the fitness industry.
If there’s one industry that’s showing no signs of slowing down, it’s health and fitness. People today are more aware that what they put into their bodies affects how much they get out of life. More importantly, they realise that exercise is central to physical and mental health.
According to IBISWorld, the fitness industry will grow 5.5% in 2023, with many people leaving their office cubicles to enjoy rewarding and lucrative careers.
Are you worried about whether there’s a place for you in the industry? Have no fear. In just a few simple steps, we’ll show you how to find your niche.
So, if higher earning potential, career stability, and the chance to do something you love all sound good, read on.
The fitness industry is bursting with opportunities
The fitness industry is more popular today than ever. With many gyms and personal trainers utilising the internet to connect with a wider client base, carving out a fitness career is easy.
From 2014 to 2019, gym memberships increased by a whopping 15% (LSN Global). While the Covid-19 pandemic led to temporary closures and decreased memberships, things picked back up again, and the industry will experience steady growth during 2023.
It might seem daunting to begin a new career, especially in such a popular industry- but it’s possible.
You can succeed in your career with the right fitness niche, a lot of passion and dedication to providing a fantastic experience for prospective clients.
What is a fitness niche?
Every industry has a degree of competition, whether e-commerce, recruitment or health and fitness. New or small businesses often find that trying the one size fits all approach leaves them at the mercy of larger competitors with more experience, and a bigger marketing spend.
Niching down is a viable option to help small businesses or new professionals carve out a name for themselves in a saturated industry.
A niche is simply focusing on a specific area within fitness. Let’s get one thing straight; niche and speciality are two different things:
Niche: Offering your services to a particular audience whose needs might not be met by the mainstream industry (e.g. new mothers).
Speciality: The type of training you provide. For example, some trainers might offer spin classes or water aerobics.
The benefits of choosing a fitness niche
Fitness clubs have always been popular, but in recent years we’ve seen a surge in online personal trainers and boutique gyms.
With so much competition within the industry, niching down will make it easier to build a loyal client base and help you establish yourself. Here are just some benefits that niches offer.
Set yourself apart as a specialist personal trainer
How does a personal trainer compete with other trainers in the area? Marketing efforts and traditional advertising can be beneficial, but if others offer services and have more experience, how will you stand out?
Choosing a personal training niche allows you to target a specific audience instead of everyone in your area.
Take a new mum, for example; she’s just had a child and is desperate to lose weight. She sees a personal trainer offering generic services to everyone and a trainer specialising in working with new mums.
Common sense would say she’ll opt for the latter, as it serves her purpose.
You’re more likely to build a loyal customer base when you set yourself apart as a specialist personal trainer.
Become an industry authority
When you choose a personal trainer niche, you’re investing your time and energy into a focal area. As time passes, you’ll learn everything you need to know about your target audience and their difficulties in reaching their health and fitness goals.
Once you develop a solid knowledge base, people will come to you because they’re seeking expertise. You’ll also be able to secure more clients if you can show your results to a specific audience.
For example, someone recovering from a severe injury might need specialist support that you can offer. Another trainer who is more of an all-rounder won’t be able to match you in knowledge, which gives you more opportunities.
Remember that online training is a very lucrative option for fitness professionals. Once you set yourself apart in a profitable niche and build a personal training business, you can scale it into new areas or offer your services online.
There are so many avenues to explore, and each leads to one thing; profit. Some trainers also take on employees to grow their fitness business, and health clubs could also employ you for your knowledge and expertise within a particular niche.
The best profitable niches for personal trainers
So, now you know more about personal training niches and their benefits, it’s time to look at some profitable options. Before even considering your niche, it’s important to know that you’ll need an industry-recognised qualification.
Many learners choose to do their Level 3 Personal Training through an online provider, allowing them to study around their current work and family commitments while enjoying an interactive training experience.
Once you’re qualified, you can explore one of the following niches.
Pre- and postnatal clients
Pregnancy is one of the most wonderful things someone can go through, but many expectant or new mums find their previous fitness regime is no longer relevant. As the body changes, the fitness needs will also alter, which is where niche trainers come in.
When you think of the common side effects of pregnancy, including back pain and weight gain, you’ll understand why these women require a more bespoke experience.
You could also set up groups to help new parents lose weight after birth, which is a popular idea that could attract many people.
Upon completion of your entry-level personal training course, there are pre and postnatal training solutions that will prepare you for the niche.
If you’re looking for a rewarding niche, working with disabled people could be an ideal fit. Individuals with disabilities often have limited movement and might be unable to use traditional exercise equipment.
As a disability-focused fitness trainer, it will be your job to find exercises that produce results but fit in with each person’s physical limitations.
You’ll get to help people enjoy a healthier lifestyle, and the specialism that comes with extensive knowledge of disabilities could open up more doors in the future.
One of the most popular fitness niches is working with seniors. A senior person is over 65 and needs to keep fit but might have some limitations regarding what they can do. Lower-impact workouts that deliver great results will keep your audience coming back for more.
Also, fitness clubs and training groups are a fantastic way for seniors to socialise and meet new people, so the niche can be really rewarding.
You can find opportunities in local residential homes or focus on training clients individually. Either way, there’s plenty of room to grow.
Clients focusing on weight loss
Specialising in clients with weight loss goals might not seem like a successful niche – but it’s important to remember that people have different goals during their personal training journey.
Some might want to build their endurance, while others could be training for a marathon or entering the world of bodybuilding.
Clients with a weight loss goal want sustainable, long-term results that often require a drastic lifestyle change. By specialising within this niche, you can build a successful business and enjoy variety as your clients will have different weight loss goals.
Many previous athletes become personal trainers later in life and help other professionals reach their goals. Training athletes could be perfect if you enjoy competitive support and want to focus on a highly specialised niche.
However, you’ll have to develop detailed and intense training schedules, considering numerous factors. While some people find this niche profitable, others might struggle with the special knowledge it requires.
In most cases, training professional athletes is a future step up the career, so we recommend new personal trainers choose a less demanding niche.
Individuals with medical conditions
People with conditions such as diabetes and heart disease need to exercise, but traditional methods – such as running on a treadmill – might not be suitable.
If you specialise in working with people with diabetes or heart problems, you’ll be responsible for creating training plans that factor into their condition.
However, choosing this niche requires a significant amount of study. You’ll need additional nutritional qualifications and an in-depth knowledge of each condition.
Steps to finding the right niche
With so many fitness niches available, it’s easy to get confused. How do you make one small group your focal point? By following these steps, you can identify your ideal client and start planning your career.
Step One: Identify your ideal client
Who would you like to work with? Do you prefer working with people within your age range? Or would you like to support individuals with disabilities?
There’s no right or wrong answer here because your ideal niche is down to personal preference. If you have experience as a personal trainer, you can identify which clients you loved working with most.
People who are new to the industry can apply knowledge from other jobs. For example, if you worked in a residential home before, you’ll have a deeper understanding of seniors.
Alternatively, if you’ve been through the childbirth experience, you could help pregnant women enjoy training.
Step Two: Research your local area
There’s no point in choosing a specific group of ideal clients if there’s no need for it. Examining the fitness market in your area will ensure you find a niche that offers growth opportunities.
If you’re in an area full of young professionals, there’s no point in choosing to work with seniors. It’s the opposite situation when carrying out competitor research.
Is there another personal trainer operating in your specific niche? Will there be room for you? Staying business focused is essential because that’s how you’ll turn a niche into a profitable business.
Step three: Plot your path to entry
Before marketing your niche, it’s essential to understand what you’ll need to begin your career. As mentioned, a Level 3 Personal Training qualification is a pre-requisite, but some niches also require further certifications.
Research your chosen niche and make sure you can invest in the training. It’s also important to consider how you’ll get the attention of potential clients and whether the niche is profitable.
A great way to gain clients in a new niche is to initially offer your services for free. For example, if you want to work with seniors, why not approach your local residential home and offer a free training session?
A strong business and marketing plan ensures you can build a reputation as a personal trainer.
Step four: Can you niche even further?
Lastly, can you cut your general niche down to a micro niche? As we said in step two, your chosen niche might be crowded – but that doesn’t mean you have to move on to a different audience immediately.
Let’s say you want to work with individuals with disabilities. The term is very broad, but niching down to supporting wheelchair users or people with mental health conditions could open up more opportunities.
Once you get your first few clients, you might find others come to you through word-of-mouth recommendations.
A micro niche also opens doors to becoming an online trainer, as you could offer the same approach to international clients, who will pay extra to see a specialist.
The bottom line
Choosing a niche doesn’t have to be a headache as long as you remember the following things:
Choose a group you want to help.
Do your research on other fitness professionals operating in your area or niche.
Consider whether you’ll be happy in the future.
When you have a niche, marketing is essential.
If your niche requires specialist qualifications, examine whether you can invest time and money into getting there.
If you’d like to begin a lucrative and rewarding fitness career, The Fitness Circle offers fully remote courses designed to give you an interactive learning experience.
With a range of personal training and specialist courses available, you’ll receive an industry-recognised qualification.
Better still, you can take advantage of flexible payment solutions and will learn how to build a sustainable business and market it during the personal training diploma.
What are you waiting for? Begin your fitness industry today.
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